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Custom B - Gregg's new rig
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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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June 26, 2011 - 11:07 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3310
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Between us, me and Mat have the same rig barring the PSU, cooler and case! It's ace!

No. NO. Dammit! What the fuck, dude?!

What TINY part of your TINY brain failed to understand that your job here was to dissuade me?

"NO, STEERPIKE, YOUR PC IS PERFECTLY SERVICEABLE. DO NOT BUY PARTS FOR A NEW ONE!"

You! With your stupid tiny brain!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Scout
Portland, Oregon
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June 27, 2011 - 1:07 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 1205
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I can feel the upgraditis in the air. Steerpike just came down with a severe case. Building a new rig around a CPU cooler?  A new PC is not in my budget this season so I am moving away from this thread slowly.

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Helmut
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June 27, 2011 - 5:18 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 795
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Sir,

 

I want to be sure it fits.

 

This is not a concern for such a rampantly striding accumulator of gaming assembliage! Desire, Design, Order, Possess! Start with the minimum quantum of ownage (heatsink) and make the subservient (aka: new) surroundage h/w do the fitting! Own! Possess! Obey!

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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June 27, 2011 - 8:25 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3310
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Scout, did you SEE that CPU cooler?! It could cool the sun! It is my quantum of ownage!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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June 27, 2011 - 11:09 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 1488
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Shiny computer parts are to Steerpike what cute shoes are to women. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Scout
Portland, Oregon
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June 27, 2011 - 11:32 am
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Steerpike said:

Scout, did you SEE that CPU cooler?! It could cool the sun! It is my quantum of ownage!

If ever there was a cry for help, this is it.

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geggis
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June 27, 2011 - 11:34 am
Member Since: September 26, 2009
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Steerpike said:

Scout, did you SEE that CPU cooler?! It could cool the sun! It is my quantum of ownage!

It has a very shiny, almost mirror-like contact plate.

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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June 27, 2011 - 11:36 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3310
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I have a Newegg wish list assembled. I must... not... click... buy... all...

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Helmut
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June 27, 2011 - 12:10 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 795
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It has a very shiny, almost mirror-like contact plate.

 

The cooling fins are assembled in tight precision and constructed of the highest quality material, conveying an image of refined discernment and the product offers a richer, fuller, more lustrous mane of hair. The product pulses with the subliminal: I AM COOLING, except of course not in all upper case because that would be shouting and shouting is not… well it's not.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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geggis
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June 27, 2011 - 12:15 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2009
Forum Posts: 1435
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There's a heat wave in the UK at the moment and the Scythe Mugen 2 is single-handedly (and silently) keeping our house cool.

Scout
Portland, Oregon
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June 27, 2011 - 2:43 pm
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Is the Scythe Mugen 2 the new red sportscar?  

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Helmut
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June 27, 2011 - 11:28 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 795
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Cute shoes are to shiny computer parts what Steerpike is to women. [Image Can Not Be Found]

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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geggis
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June 28, 2011 - 4:36 am
Member Since: September 26, 2009
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Helmut said:

Cute shoes are to shiny computer parts what Steerpike is to women. [Image Can Not Be Found]

What a horrible thing to say. I like it.

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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June 28, 2011 - 9:16 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3310
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ZOW!

My revenge shall be swift... silent... and deadly.

DEADLY COOL ON ACCOUNT OF THAT HUGE FREAKING HEATSINK

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Helmut
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June 28, 2011 - 3:27 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 795
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Hey all in good fun. Remember that in a few years when the  'pike-lets are mining asteroids off Jupiter using the Scythe Mugen 5 quantum entanglement drive, there'll probably still be 'mut-lets mucking out the sump.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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xtal
planet
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June 28, 2011 - 5:15 pm
Member Since: April 19, 2009
Forum Posts: 1683
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Steerpike said:

I have a Newegg wish list assembled. I must... not... click... buy... all...

 

You're weak. Do it.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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geggis
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June 30, 2011 - 6:38 am
Member Since: September 26, 2009
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geggis said:

Well for whatever reason the Asus speaker test that came with the Xonar DX software doesn't seem to work for me so for about 30 minutes I was sat scratching my head wondering why I wasn't getting any sound. By this point I'd upped the volume a bit and got my headphones on (big mistake) and decided to test the sound from the Sound section in the Control Panel instead. !!DIDDLING!! ARGGH!!

There was sound and soiled slacks.

Dolby Digital Live encoding worked like a dream and the receiver is making the most of it now. My biggest gripe is with the Asus mixer which is just really fiddly and nowhere near as intuitive as it should be, especially compared to Realtek's less-is-more equivalent. It's not possible to mute channels without having to lower their volumes via the teeny-tiny sliders, the teeny-tiny sliders are a pain in the arse to adjust, it's not possible to save different configurations so everything has to be tweaked depending on what you're wanting to do. It's just a bit disappointing after the robust customisation options offered by the kX drivers. Anyway, I'm not complaining, there are a lot of other options which should prove useful in the future.

Now to get Clear Sky's surround working with EAX…

 

So after a couple of weeks fiddling with my sound devices (Realtek High Definition Audio onboard and Asus Xonar DX soundcard) I've come to the conclusion that, unless you've got a bitchin' sound system, a sharp ear and only ever listen to music, there's absolutely no reason to invest in a dedicated soundcard. I can't speak for AC'97 or older onboard solutions but Realtek HDA is superb and given that it comes bundled with most motherboards these days, it's a no brainer to stick with it.

I've tried a handful of games and plenty of music with the Xonar and my first impressions are less than stellar. As mentioned in the above post, the Xonar control panel is a fiddly piece of crap, on top of this I noticed that a glut of its features simply didn't work. The borkened master volume dial being the most egregious issue. Thankfully I updated the drivers and software and everything started working properly. The control panel is still a fiddly piece of crap but at least it's a working fiddly piece of crap.

Let's start with my music tests. I started with Burial's Distant Lights which is a bass heavy monster. The Xonar DX using Dolby Digital Live through SP/DIF out into my AV receiver won hands down reproducing those all-consuming lows perfectly. I say reproducing, it wasn't the Xonar that did this, it was my AV receiver decoding the Dolby Digital signal, but still, it got the sound out in the best way possible. The Realtek over analogue, despite sounding pretty much exactly the same, just didn't have the low-end depth thanks to the bass redirection not doing its job properly. I've yet to try the Xonar's analogue-outs though -- that would be interesting. It was the same story with Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92. The Realtek sounded fantastic still but just lacked that low-end oomph. This isn't something I'd say would be discernible through desktop speakers or a decent pair of headphones however.

On to gaming.

I never did get Clear Sky's 3D audio working over 5.1 with the Xonar. It always defaulted to 2.0/2.1 so I ended up resorting to the Realtek which sounded excellent. A number of indie games didn't like the Xonar one bit, failing to recognise it yet inexplicably still playing audio. Some games I had to turn the GX mode off (Xonar's EAX emulation) to reduce crackling and other anomalies. Hydorah jolted around like a bastard making it unplayable and I had to fall back on to Realtek again which sorted the problem out immediately. Fallout 3 was disappointing too through the Xonar, people talking right in front of me were pushed into the distant left or right channel rather than sitting clearly around the center meaning that conversations were hard to hear. Crysis I've not tested much yet but I think the Xonar only outputted the front two channels so it's looking pretty good for the Realtek again there.

All in all, so far, my conclusion is that anybody with Realtek HDA should stick with it, it's a revelation and even over analogue is almost noise-free. The mic input is a little noisy but for gaming it's absolutely spot on. Realtek HDA also has a way of monitoring your voice so that you're not shouting and it works well too. The Xonar has this feature but there's an uncomfortable delay and it doesn't work in 3D games properly.

Scout
Portland, Oregon
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June 30, 2011 - 2:51 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 1205
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I'm pretty happy with my onboard Realtek. 'Sides, I ain't got no mo' speakers anyway for a 5.1.  I'm super picky about speaker quality so I have to calm down and enjoy what I have. I read about four articles on PC soundcards and decided I was already go to go.

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